TORONTO — Canadian songmaker Bradley Daymond scaled the charts as a member of dance trio Love Inc. — co-creating their hits “Broken Bones” and “You’re a Superstar” — but his passion for music aspired to even greater heights, which included working with ‘N Sync at the peak of their popularity.
The Barrie, Ont., native, who died Friday at 48 years old after complications due to cardiac arrest, was a consistent source of energy and humour, said longtime friend Jeremy Wright. His traits often found their way into his zippy pop songs and remixes made for acts like Britney Spears and Ricky Martin.
But many will remember Daymond best for his contributions to Love Inc., the Juno-winning outfit rounded out by DJ Chris Sheppard and vocalist Simone Denny. The group delivered a number of chart-topping dance singles that played in heavy rotation on MuchMusic and were unexpectedly embraced in Europe several years later.
“You’re a Superstar” has become an enduring favourite in the United Kindom in particular, and Denny credits Daymond and co-writer Vince DiGiorgio with giving the track staying power.
“They put their hearts and souls into it and it resonates deeply with people to this day,” she said.
Crafting songs with a lasting euphoric impact was something Daymond aspired to. His work overflowed with bouncy synth that sometimes competed with the vocals, but at other times he’d peel back the layers of production to let the prowess of his performers shine.
Daymond’s interest in music took shape in his early teenage years, his friend Wright said, around the time he began taking drum lessons with Martin Deller, a former member of Toronto progressive rock band FM.
After high school Daymond met former MuchMusic VJ Michael Williams and joined him as a composer on the 1992 Nylons album “Live to Love.”
The job opened doors in Toronto’s dance music community, which eventually led into the arms of label giant BMG Music Canada, who wanted Daymond to give his magic touch to their project Love Inc. — and be its third member.
Inside the studio he was a voracious music fan, remembered Denny.
“He’d arrange the music, contribute lyrically, play live instruments. He was an astounding talent as a producer,” she said.
“No ego, no attitude, just a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.”
The project was an instant success, finding its way onto dance floors and the charts in 1997. Love Inc. rode the popularity all the way to the 1999 Juno Awards where “Broken Bones” won best dance recording.
But Daymond’s time with Love Inc. was brief and shortly afterwards Denny said he was “removed” from the group.
“He didn’t leave Love Inc. voluntarily,” she said. “And for me, it never felt the same.”
Instead of slowing down, Daymond took the separation as an opportunity to look stateside for work. He forged ahead with his production duo Riprock & Alex G, alongside Alex Greggs, and began to ride the wave of teen pop.
Together they produced an array of cartoonish remixes for stars like Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera that often appeared on their CD singles.
Remixes of ‘N Sync’s early singles caught the ears of the group, and he was hired to co-write two songs for their second album “No Strings Attached” in 2000. He returned to help create three more tracks for their next album “Celebrity” a year later.
Daymond continued writing pop music for years, on projects including “Schizophrenic,” the debut album of ‘N Sync member JC Chasez, and as a judge on U.S. singing competition series “Popstars 2.”
After Love Inc. disbanded Denny said she kept in touch with Daymond and recently the two started discussing the possibilities of making new music together. She still performs Love Inc. songs when playing concerts around the world.
“We were excited to see each other and reconnect, actually sit down, chat, joke and talk,” she said.
“The friendship, it’s been 20 years and it never went away. We were always in contact — always.”
When she heard Daymond was hospitalized several months ago in Las Vegas over health concerns, Denny said she began sending him voice messages with well-wishes.
“The last words he messaged me in audio was: ‘Gotta love each other more,'” she said.
“I think that sums up the man.”
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David Friend, The Canadian Press